Coast, Oasis and Warehouse have reported full-year growth, days after it emerged that a possible sale was on the cards for the trio.

The three businesses, formerly under the banner of Aurora Fashions, reported improved performances across the board for the year ending February 27, 2016.

Formalwear retailer Coast returned to good form, racking up £1.3m pre-tax profit, compared to pre-tax losses of £10.8m the previous year.

The retailer did not reveal an overall or like-for-like sales figure but said that it had “delivered an increase in full-price sales, improved margins and significant cost reduction as a result of its continued investment in product design and quality as well as digital channels”.

Online sales grew 16% and now represent 27% of total sales.

Coast exited several unprofitable stores during the year and now plans to roll out a new flagship concept.

Managing director Andrew Skinner said: “The results are testament that our renewed focus on the unique design, beauty, quality and value of our products is resonating with our customers, resulting in a higher mix of full price sales and subsequent margin improvement.

“This, coupled with the streamlining of our cost base and our continued investment in our rapidly growing digital channels, has set a very solid platform to grow the business over the coming years.

“Furthermore, initial customer response from our stunning new Flagship store concept in Metrocentre, Newcastle has been extremely positive. This gives us plenty of confidence we will continue to see strong progress for the brand going forward.”


Womenswear retailer Oasis delivered what it termed a “solid” year, with pre-tax profits flat at £6.3m, despite shutting down its Russian operations.

It declined to give a total or like-for-like sales figure but revealed that online sales were up 15%.

Oasis has completed its store refit programme in its flagship stores and is now embarking on refitting its city centre stores. It is also trialling a new, smaller store format, for premium markets.


Pre-tax losses at Warehouse narrowed from -£3.1m to -£1.3m over the period.

Again, the retailer declined to reveal total or like-for-like sales but did disclose that its online sales grew 12%.

The retailer is in the midst of a brand transformation, evidenced in its new London flagship and its appointment of brand consultant Alasdhair Willis and design director Emma Cook, who has given product a more premium, directional feel.

Oasis and Warehouse Group boss Liz Evans said: “Despite the challenging retail environment, I am pleased with the progress the brands and their respective management teams have made.

“There has been significant investment in creating a robust independent infrastructure for each brand, as well as investment in the teams to ensure we have the right foundations in place to enable us to build a ’digital first’ business across both brands. This gives us the confidence that we will continue to drive growth in this new financial year.”

The sale

Administrators for the trio’s owner, failed Icelandic bank Kaupthing, are believed to be seeking new owners for the retailers.

The bank, which acquired the retailers in 2009 from Mosaic Fashions, is now defunct following Iceland’s 2008-2011 financial crisis.

The administrators are reportedly looking at options for the more upmarket Karen Millen brand, which reported widening full-year losses and falling sales earlier this week.